Skanska, one of the biggest developers of sustainable office buildings and the Holcim Romania Group, one of the largest producers of building materials have announced earlier this week their strategic collaboration that aims to accelerate the transition to a greener built environment.
The partnership is based on the mutual engagement of both companies to accelerate the transition to a greener built environment, by implementing the sustainable strategies established at an international level to their local business division, each on their fields of activity. Skanska Group’s objective is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, while Holcim Group aims to achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050.
An example of this collaboration is the Equilibrium 2 project, where the Holcim Romania Group supplies concrete. The solutions offered by Holcim have significantly contributed to the reduction of the CO2 footprint incorporated in the construction of the building, the project thus benefiting from a low carbon footprint in terms of structure and, implicitly, optimized values in the life cycle assessment.
“Sustainability is an integral part of our business and it translates into a series of systematically implemented actions and solutions. We pay very special attention not only to the way we design our buildings so they can be used in the most eco-friendly way possible, but also to the materials we use in the construction process, which are carefully and eco-consciously selected. We are grateful for this partnership with Holcim that is not only another step towards achieving our carbon footprint reduction goals, but also an opportunity to promote these practices and encourage other companies to implement innovative solutions in their projects. We strongly believe that relying on sustainable solutions will only bring greater benefits to the society, the environment and the economy. That’s why, along with Holcim, we continue to strive to minimize the impact on the environment. We want to make sure that the materials used are obtained responsibly and used in the most appropriate way based on sustainability and, implicitly, on the principles of a circular economy ”- says Andrei Ivan, Projects Director within the commercial development division of Skanska in CEE.
According to the World Green Building Council, the construction sector is currently responsible for 39% of global CO2 emissions, with embedded carbon accounting for 11% of the global carbon footprint. Moreover, embedded carbon could account for as much as half of the entire CO2 footprint of new construction by 2050. Thus, decarbonization of the construction sector is one of the most effective ways to significantly reduce these emissions.
“We consider that it is our duty, of all of us, to build a better world for the future generations, and Holcim Romania has been concerned with this aspect for more than 20 years. We are happy to work with Skanska for a sustainable built environment with as little carbon footprint as possible. In the context of the implementation of the European Green Pact, the provision of green products and solutions, which ensure an efficient use and respectively the circularity of resources, will become a trend for the entire construction sector on a global level. We want this collaboration to be an extra step for the industry in the direction of sustainability, the transition to a greener built environment being a necessity and the only viable way to limit the impact of the climate crisis” – said Anca Alexandru, Director of Concrete Division, Holcim Romania Group.
From the very beginning of its activity in Romania, Holcim has supported sustainable construction and the transition to a sustainable built environment. Thanks to constant investments in modernizing the production process, the company managed to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% compared to 1990.
Sustainable development, part of Skanska’s identity
Skanska is a pioneer in providing sustainable office spaces in Central and Eastern Europe. Skanska’s concern for the environment and efforts to build future-proof buildings are also recognized by WELL and LEED certifications. The Campus 6.2 and 6.3 buildings are the first buildings in Romania to obtain the WELL pre-certification, at Silver level. The Equilibrium building is LEED Core & Shell certified at Platinum level and currently operates 100% on the basis of renewable energy. Another Skanska initiative that aims to reduce the impact on the environment is reflected in the recent partnership with the Romanian Green Building Council for the implementation of Net Zero Carbon Emissions certification. The certification aims to address a series of systematic strategies that provide solutions in combating climate change, improving health, well-being of people and moving towards a circular, regenerative type of economy.
The collaboration between Skanska and Holcim is a further step towards sustainability taken by Skanska in order to meet the CO2 reduction target of 70% by 2035 and to achieve emission neutrality by 2045. Initially aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2035, through the current efforts Skanska has already managed to reduce emissions by about 40% globally this year, which has only motivated the company to update the target for 2035 to 70%.
Holcim Romania Group, a new business model based on ECO products and solutions
In the first quarter of this year, Holcim Romania Group launched a new business model called ECONCEPT. Assumed at all levels of the company, the new collaboration model is based on an integrated offer of ECO products and solutions and seeks to accelerate the transition to a greener built environment.
Amongst the ECO solutions launched by Holcim on the market stands the ECOPact green concrete range (with 30% reduced CO2 emissions compared to a standard concrete), introduced for the first time on the local construction market and ECOPlanet, that includes the green cement with low CO2 emissions with 40% and over 30% recycled material content.
Moreover, Holcim Romania is the first company in the field of construction materials to develop a climate impact assessment system for its products. The line is being called the “Green Label” and it helps beneficiaries take important steps to build sustainably.
The new collaboration model proposed by Holcim Romania Group is aligning to the Net-Zero commitment assumed by Holcim at international level, which aims to accelerate by at least 20% (compared to the previously assumed commitment in 2018) the reduction of the carbon footprint by 2030 and completely neutralizing it by 2050. Along with over than 300 large companies with more than 10 million employees, Holcim adjoined the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The two companies already have a collaboration history, Holcim being a products and solutions supplier for Skanska ever since the first Skanska project in Romania, starting with 2014.